Skip to main content
7:00 am
policy towards syria. then senator tom coburn on the federal budget and taxes. we will also look at military suicide with mark thompson of "time magazine." ♪ ♪ host: well, the political back- and-forth over whether a mitt romney should release his tax returns continues in today's papers. should the gop nominee release more of his past tax returns? that's our question this morning on the "washington journal." your comments, electronically, as well at cspanwj is our
7:01 am
handle, or facebook. "the washington post" editorial this morning. he promises to release the 2011 return. more than two years would be informative. the last republican presidential nominee, senator john mccain only made public two years of his tax returns before the election. others have provided many more. on tuesday, mr. romney brushed off demands to make public more tax returns, saying they would be used by the obama's campaign's research.
7:02 am
host: that is "the washington post" editorial this morning. from "the hill" newspaper --
7:03 am
host: he added, these are distracting from the issue at hand. it is the president not leading. and as a consequence, americans are hurting. at the point, an animated banner jumped to the stand to respond. they are not asking where the tax returns are. this is another side show intended to draw the american people's attention away from the real issue. the real issue is that the president's economic policies have failed. as a result, he cannot run on his record. this got to run on something else. whether it is the tax returns, bain capital, he will see every destruction known to man because
7:04 am
the press and -- president cannot run on his record. we have already gotten several facebook comments on whether or not mitt romney should report his tax return. here is sean. let us spend our time trying to figure out what kind of person he is and how we makes decisions under pressure. and linda says if he does not, he understands what is in them is worse than what people imagine that are in them and is willing to take the political risk. first call on whether mitt romney should take his -- report his tax returns is from a republican and conway south carolina. caller: good morning. i feel that mitt romney should take his clothes off and come out swinging. -- his gloves off. if anyone has a past that has
7:05 am
an adulterate the birthplace, the fact that he has got a list of things that he has concealed, haole troubles with a foreign passport. host: should he released his tax return? caller: sure. i will release my tax returns if you tell us how you went to school, how you have a social security from candidates when you never lived there. why we do not know where he surrendered your license. what s make it even. they keep kicking him. host: a democrat in chicago, a matt. caller: thank you for taking my call. yes, he should release the tax returns. i find it ironic.
7:06 am
his father was the first one here released 12 years of the tax returns. he makes it a point of how successful he is and how that is going to create jobs for the country. it is just amazing to me that he seems to be putting off more and more. and even people on his own side are saying he should release the tax returns. it is very clear that he is trying to hide something. i cannot even come from a purely political science point of view -- host: democrats look to keep heat on mitt romney over tax return. they are looking to help president obama keep the spotlight on mitt romney's tax return or lack thereof. two bills call for greater
7:07 am
disclosure of a candidate's finances. the house, it was announced wednesday a measure the to would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns for the last 10 years and disclose any overseas investments. senate majority dick durbin released a similar measure in march. he would require federal employees and canada to file i financial disclosure. that is considered a tax haven. and from the "daily beast" -- the right-wing rips mitt romney me for refusing to release tax returns. hours after he pulled the national review, he is not enthusiastic about giving hundreds of thousands of pages -- its website scolded him in an editorial.
7:08 am
his stance looked unsustainable. and in all likelihood, he will not be able to maintain a stance -- the only situation as whether he releases more returns now, or later. hal is an independent in washington, d.c. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i wanted to say -- it would help the whole process agree to have a comprehensive list of requirements. i just think that the back and forth over this is not truly progressive it. i think we should have it all nailed down. so there is no bleeding and everyone can just disclose everything required up front. host: a republican from los angeles. you are on the "washington journal." caller: good morning.
7:09 am
thank you. the fact of the matter is that every american is going to utilize the tax code in his or her favor. given the deductions and offsets. warren buffett obviously has a lot of those options. but every single american takes advantage of that. in regard to the president, mitt romney, it is just how bad they are going to critique it. every single person that utilizes these benefits. and whether, you know, too much money for some person in the midwest to handle, if you say to much money, if you work too hard and have too many write-offs, some people will be stressed with that. but you can look at another who used -- moved his seven million-
7:10 am
dollar yacht out of one harbor and into another for tax reasons. the guy is not a crook. timothy geithner has issues with the irs and the treasury secretary. host: from the "washington time" -- mitt romney's progressive style and on display in ohio. entering the prison for his recent comments to fight for the soul of america. mitt romney at a town hall meeting in ohio-that president obama has held 100 fundraisers in the past six months, but no public meeting of this council on the jobs. so it makes it very clear where his priorities are, he said. he is out of touch, out of ideas come out of excuses, and that is why in november we have got to get him out of office. and by the way, the president
7:11 am
today is in at route to florida. he will be in jacksonville for a campaign event and into west palm beach where he will have a campaign event and a campaign fund-raiser as well. still -- next call, tennessee on the democrat's line you are on. caller: good morning. i think he should released his taxes. and more than two years. that is all. americans when faced with any obstacle, the government needs to look good records. why should mitt romney me the any different. furthermore, he is complaining about the president and complaining about things he is doing. but he is not being forthcoming with his information. we have to judge him based on what he as been doing. look at all of these jobs. and coming up front and saying he can represent the people and
7:12 am
bring jobs here. we need to know how we can do that. and that is how i feel about it. thank you. host: from the washington post -- mitt romney the risks linked to liber scandal. mitt romney's overseas trip next week will take into the heart of london's scandal-ridden bank industry. as the presumptive presidential nominee, holding two fundraisers held by lobbyists and fund-raisers by more than two dozen institutions. the high dollar dinner on july 26 overwhelmingly represents banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions, some of which are embroiled in the liber rate fixing scandal. by appearing at the fundraisers on the eve of the olympics open ceremonies, mitt romney derisks assuming his campaign with the scandal, which focuses on the banks, banks and manipulated the london interbank offered
7:13 am
rate, for mortgages, auto loans and other financial contracts. one of the cochairs is patrick, a lobbyist for barclays which agreed last month to pay $350 million to settle allegations that it manipulated liber before and after the financial crisis. he helped raise 1.1 million for the mitt romney campaign according to united states disclosure let -- records. bob diamond withdrew as a cohost after the bank settled with british and united states authorities, he resigned july 3 from barclays. that is in the washington post. and this is in the wall street journal. group comes to match romney's the fence. no one of his allies in a super pac world it plans to give him direct help. american crossroads action committee will begin an $8.8 million ad buy on thursday to
7:14 am
defend mr. romney from democratic charges that he helped ship jobs overseas. the crossroads ad marks a departure for its and most other outside political groups. until now, they have spent most of their money on subsidies -- on such themes as criticizing mr. obama for the rising federal deficit. but to mention mr. romney explicitly and the funding and serves several but candidates traditionally have filled themselves. from new york, francine is on our independent line. should mitt romney release more of his tax returns? caller: yes. i am from new york. the reason i believe mitt romney -- it was the same thing with hillary clinton when she was running. president mitt romney has the same problem. he has got to separate his and come from his wife's. she is not running for
7:15 am
president. also deal with the restatement from his olympics campaign. so there was that problem. mitt romney a's tax return is not an easy form or you have one or two w2's and no income or expenses. there is a problem. i am not for mitt romney. for other reasons. but i still believe that mitt romney, showing people how you can restate and,, like someone complaining about timothy geithner who i was complaining about. about not being able to do his taxes. at the bottom line is that things get complicated. the tax code needs reform. and like i said, different jobs, medical expenses, it is not an easy situation any more than it was.
7:16 am
but still, the rich and the poor do not get the breaks. host: on a republican line from pennsylvania. caller: good morning. i do not think he should release his tax forms. who gives away rats -- and want a president that to do something for the american people. not caring about how much money he has. we do not care how much money kennedy had a. y care about this man? i do not even like him either. i do not think i will vote for either one. i know i will not vote for obama. he is not helped me. and as far as whirring about how much money has come in as a bunch of baloney. what about the jobs? the give it up. >> that was a caller from pennsylvania. now to north carolina, democrat's line. caller: good morning.
7:17 am
he should release the tax returns. i bought a home. and i have released my tax returns to show how much money i make. this man is running for the president of the united states. he should turn them over. no doubt about it. he will have to turn them over sooner later. host: 0 k. thank you. caller: thank you. if host: economic fears hurting obama, poll indicates confidence in the nation's economic prospects. they appear to be the most powerful force influencing voters as a presidential 11 of -- election gears up. and helping give them an advantage on a question of who will be better able to handle the economic challenges. that is according to the latest new york times poll. here are the numbers and that the call. the new poll shows that the race remains essentially tied.
7:18 am
that is among all the chatter suggesting that mitt romney's campaign has had a tax on his years at the bain capital and his unwillingness to release more of his tax returns. 45% said they would vote for mr. romney if the vote was held now. 43% say they would vote for mr. obama. here is a breakdown on some of the questions they ask in the polls. number one, how important your vote are different issues. number one, unemployment's. they say it is very extremely important. 41% say president obama would do a better job. 49% say much romney. healthcare, 43 percent to 42%. on taxes, they say it varies. 42% say obama. 47% say romney.
7:19 am
federal budget -- 36% said obama. 50% say mr. romney. all the way the social issues. 44% say it is important. 48% think obama would do a better job. 37% say that mr. romney would. then you get down to do you think the policies of the candidate's administration will favor the rich, middle class or treat all groups equally? president obama -- 21% say his policies would support the rich, 53% say that mitt romney's would support the rich. but all groups barely, 25% for president obama, 30% for mitt romney. michigan, rick on our independent line. what you think about mitt romney and his tax returns? caller: i do not think -- economics 101, when you have a taxes coming down on you,
7:20 am
companies seem to gravitate out of the areas where the taxes are more. with the highest corporate rate here in this country. and companies are going out of this country. and we have a people who are coming down on the rich, who are the ones that create jobs, and they take their money somewhere else. the hub -- will have offshore accounts. woodrow wilson is the one that started federal income tax -- the federal reserve. of course, you have the progressive income tax that of course the democrats promoted mainly. progressive is basically communism. it is pushing a communist agenda. obama has a guy named to jeff
7:21 am
jones back in the 1970's responsible for the bombing of the capitol building. host: we are getting a little boat off kilter. we are going to move off of this on to carry it and virginia -- onto hariet and virginia. caller: i think they are making too big an issue out of it. they should leave it. democrats could be falling into a trap. he is a stupid man. he knows he wants to run for president. if they make it all about his income tax return, he releases his returns, and the democrats look like fools. so, i think they should just leave it. let it go. host: from politico this morning, they have a section called the arena, you can join
7:22 am
the debate there. david is the moderator. the question is whether mitt romney should release his taxes. here are some of the responses. including michael steele, former chairman of the rnc, this is what he writes. >> at some point you should maybe effort to get out of the way. mitt romney is getting hit upside the head. released the tax returns. some of about 20 years' worth to the mccain campaign in 2008. and shift the conversation to something the obama campaign does not want to talk about like the 80,000 jobs created last month. former rep come a long time a democrat from texas, he writes that both sides are right, he should refuse to release any additional tax returns. obama should continue to beat him up about it. mitt romney would be a fall to
7:23 am
give them more op research. at obama should write it for all it is worth. isn't politics a grand? and our next caller is from oklahoma on the democrat's line. what you think? caller: i think mitt romney should release his tax returns. although the president had expected -- have been expected to before hand. what makes him so special? what makes him any difference? why not? everyone else has. why shouldn't t? is he trying to hide something? host: here are some twitter comments that we have received a. they are all over the board. we will start with this one. you want to run they irs, but not show your taxes? get real. and if mitt romney refuses to show tax returns, he will be toast. we hit corporate terrorists. and -- putting out more meat
7:24 am
never satisfies the wolves. and here is kathryn, the more romney defend not releasing his tax returns, the more i wonder what he is trying to hide. those are some of the comments we have received on twitter. ohio, thomas is on the independent line. you are on. what do you think? caller: i do not think that mitt romney should show anything else. all that it does is give president obama more information to give -- to make things up. and time again, he has approved the is not above lying. why would mitt romney give him cannon fire. it makes no sense. that would be like providing your enemy with ammunition. i know that president obama has not been invented.
7:25 am
vetted. send people there. they interviewed over 400 people. not one person remembers obama being there. how you explain that? maybe obama should open up some of his record. and each one of them open up something. host: we will leave it there. sally comments -- it is funny how demanding that the sitting president of united states of america produces long-form north shore. is considered fair game. but demanding a candidate for president produce more than one year of tax returns, just as his father did? imposition of personal privacy. one of two things happening here. mitt romney has something to hide, which is bad, or get
7:26 am
nothing to hide and is just being evasive and of use. which is bad. -- and obfuse. which is bad. another comment. if mitt romney could act retroactively, he would have released his tax returns six months ago and spent at least 30% of his ad buys telling his personal story. did he invest in a government- backed energy company? receive a tax amnesty? the two least liked words and a tea party lexicon standing alone would together forge a toxic brew. on politico this morning and. our next caller from new york. would you think about mitt romney releasing his tax return?
7:27 am
caller: you and everyone else believe that obama does not already know what is on those tax returns. do you really believe that? the irs -- do not think they have not released some information to him about checking out prior tax returns. so, if you are out there and you do not believe that they do not already know, i am sorry, i can sell you a bridge and brooklyn. thank you. host: defense cracked up. some policy train wrecks and washington are sudden. then there is a catastrophe playing out in slow motion known as defense sequestration. barring presidential leadership soon, the pentagon will be hit with another deep and disproportionate funding cut.
7:28 am
around 50 billion a year. under last year's budget control act, president obama and congress need to agree on new several -- federal savings. on the january 2. like an audience at a horror movie, nearly everyone paying attention as yelling watch out into a political and media avoid. chairman of the joint chiefs of staff calls sequestration an unacceptable risk that will increase the likelihood of conflict. leon panetta says it is unworkable and a disaster that will hollow out the force on our national defense. mr. obama knows all of this from his own pentagon warnings. why is he inviting a crack up? he wants to use gop warnings about the defense. republicans are on why is true except the sequestration deal. thus handing mr. obama more
7:29 am
leverage. this is the "the wall street journal" editorial this morning. from the "new york times" -- the american public satisfaction with the supreme court, which had already been low by historical standards in recent polls dropped further after the 5-4 ruling last month overhauling the health-care law. -- up holding the president obama's health care overhaul law. in a poll a few weeks before the decision, the disapproval rating was 36%. more than half of americans said the decision in the health care case was based on the justices personal or political views, only about 3 in 10 said the decision was based mainly on
7:30 am
legal analysis. back to our calls on mitt romney and his tax return. wisconsin, ronald as on our independent line. good morning. i hit the wrong line. we went to louisiana. judy from louisiana. your on the line. caller: i have to say that i think the man of it called a few minutes ago, he called about obama's informational. if mr. obama would come up with all of the information to show that it would be, you know, that mitt romney should come out with his paperwork. thank you. host: also from the new york times, a justice. last night. he says he had no falling out with a chief justice. the supreme court's bitterly divided decision had not led to
7:31 am
a falling out with the chief justice john roberts. the chief justice joined the court's for the justice members. he was asked if he and she is roberts had a parting of ways? he first ducked the question -- who told you that? here is a quote from justice scalia. you should not -- the press likes to paint us as nice scorpions and a bottle. that is not the case. c-span is doing an interview with justice scalia today. and that will air in about one week on our queue and a program. postal service set to default on billions in health fund
7:32 am
payments. this is the article in the "new york times." postal service faced with continuing financial losses because of a drop in mail volume. expecting to default on and all payments. future retiree health benefits, the $5.5 billion payment, which was deferred from the 2011 fiscal year is due august 1. postal service is also sold to make it $5.6 billion payment in september. a spokesman for the agency says that barring intervention from congress, it would default on both payments. now, ronald and the milwaukee. thank you for holding. you are on the air. hello. caller: hi. i believe mitt romney is making a big mistake. i think that he should go ahead and released his taxes. all the taxes -- everyone is on
7:33 am
the fence waiting to see what he will do. it is like his credibility is going down because of the questions we have a period of what is actually going on. it is not giving us any type of answers. he just keeps saying he is not going to do it. and you can do this if you want to. he is like i do not have to do anything. you know? host: thank you for calling and this morning. from an york post -- the word is going out quietly to republican activists across new jersey, if you are going to the convention in tampa next month, be sure to be there by tuesday night, august 28. because of gov. chris christie is going to be giving the keynote speech that night. next call comes from california, dianne is on our democrat's line. you are on. what to do you think? caller: good morning. how're you? host: i am good. caller: good. yes, he should release his
7:34 am
taxes. sitting behind a false premise and saying blind trust, when in fact, when he had a debate -- newt gingrich and the republican national debate, early in january, newt gingrich pressed ham and asked him about -- pressed him and asked him about foreclosures. and mitt romney, first of all, he said my investments have been and a blocked trust. also, that the blind trust, and a 2007 disclosure for the 2008 run of mitt romney knee, it was obviously counterintuitive to his quotes. and also, there is a release from the massachusetts -- it is in this article.
7:35 am
back to january 2012. that meant romney under the thats of the blind trust, th is like the blind leading the blind. he thinks he is going to lead the country in such a manner, and not disclose that he does have a bermuda holding as. he does have cayman. he has these foreclosures. this article has found -- caller: where is the article? host: where is the article? caller: it is called think progress. blind trust romney. host: give got to move on.
7:36 am
if people are interested, they can type that and. it is called think progress. here are a couple of tweets -- did not we go through this with w's military record? and another tweet, when you are a republican candidate, and even the national review is calling for your returns, the fat lady has sung. from our facebook page -- of course he should release his returns, he is making himself look like a fool for refusing like this. and -- yes, he should release them so they can get on to important issues like job creation and the economy. next call from florida. do you think mitt romney it should release his tax returns? caller: of course not. this is important, but what is probably five times as important
7:37 am
is obama's past. and you can pick up any book about him and a bookstore and just be horrified by his mother, the people who raised him, his friends, where he as been and what he has done. ever since i was a kid, i was reading the making of the president series and all the other books. when i bought books on obama and 2008, my wife kept asking why i would not finish them. the reason -- you cannot read anything about him without encountering everything he has done or everything the people had raised him have done. or what all of his friends have done. and you people in the press, you do not to do anything about it. when you look at mitt romney the, hidden in the limelight since his father ran for governor. -- when you look at me romney, he has been a in the limelight. you cannot look at anything is
7:38 am
done without being very impressed. host: we will leave it there. "washington time" -- happy birthday to the former senator and presidential hopeful. he is 90 years old. and many of his fans including bob dole, who himself turns 89 this week, will meet him at the museum. it is hosted by united nations world food program united states. the birthday cake will be supplied by none other than that sharma city cakes. known for its an orthodox creations. the front page of the crow rate york post" -- the cooperation that come back. he shows off his little one. propaganda is the front page headline this morning. and in here, and this article, two pages of articles. they talk about the fact that he
7:39 am
and his wife -- they sat down for an interview with "people magazine." and a thin the wiener's comeback campaign. they invited people magazine into their home for a photo shoot, putting their six-month- old baby front and center in an effort to rehab his reputation after the serial sexting scandal that derailed his political career. they tried to move the subject away from his embarrassing cyber cheating scandal, and made his first public remarks since was forced out of congress. he says he feels like a different person. 2011 was the best year of my life. there's just a little bit from the article in the "york post"
7:40 am
this morning. "usa today" plates with the drought. the drought to lead up the prices of dairy. much of the nation will see prices are rising. corn and wheat are probably not far behind. price hikes in basic food staples are causing huge concern to others who rely on dairy to sustain an important part of the national economy. washington, jim is on the line. what you think about mitt romney and his tax returns? caller: i would hate to find out some of the things that are and they are probably. it might change my opinion about how i feel about mitt romney. if he is getting money from the government. that would be, you know, bad to hear. and on the other hand, i kind of
7:41 am
would like to find out what millionaires pay as a percentage over time. maybe they are even getting money instead of paying money. so that would be bad, too. i am kind of mixed about it. host: new haven, connecticut. on the democrat's line. good morning. caller: good morning. i think he should release his tax returns. after all, he is running to the president of the united states. it is time for him to release them. i release mind. i am a retiree, and i release mind because i have to file each year. why not he? is he afraid of what you will find on this return? i do not know. and also, i would like to speak about man from south carolina. i am from georgetown, sc. now i live in connecticut. now, he said that obama got a
7:42 am
social security card from connecticut. they all come from the federal government, doesn't he know about? thank you. host: offshore money helps launch bain capital. this is an original archbold by three of the washington bureau reporters. -- and are original article by three of the washington bureau reporters. they turned down the young boston consultant. and as partners tapped an eclectic roster. raising more than a third of their investment funds from wealthy foreigners, many of whom used overseas financial entities and low tax havens. most financial investors money came from corporations registered in panama, then one of the world's most secretive
7:43 am
business jurisdictions, offering a confidentiality intense advantages. previously unreleased details and other public records -- bain capital was emeshed in the largely opaque world of international high finance from its inception. romney faces increasing criticism for his own involvement in exotic offshore investment funds. that is front page of the chicago tribune this morning. and the lead story in the miami herald is -- in congress, few released their congress. nancy pelosi was an phatic. mitt romney the's to release more than two years of his tax return, it makes him unfit to win confirmation as a member of the president's cabinet, let alone hold the high office himself. harry reid went further. his refusal to make public tax
7:44 am
record makes him unfit to be a dogcatcher. they do not think that standard of transparency should apply to them. the democratic leaders of the senate and house are among hundreds of senators and representatives from both parties who refused to release their tax records. just 17 of the 535 members of congress released their most recent tax form, are provided some similar documentation of their tax liabilities and response to requests from newspapers of the last three months. another 19 replied that they would not release the information, and the remainder never responded to the inquiry. that is a little bit from the "miami herald" this morning. our last call comes from alabama. what do think? caller: are you there? host: yes. we are listening. caller: great. what i think is that everyone did a search on bain capital and
7:45 am
china, they would see that he is in business with them. we really do not need corporate america and the white house -- and the white house doing business with other countries, and not in our own country because they cannot be transparent, they cannot not do business -- cannot do business -- i am telling you why he is not releasing them. host: well we appreciate that very much. we will leave it there. we of three segments coming up on the "washington journal." this is the headline and "the washington journal" -- bombing may signal meltdown in syria. and we will continue our discussion. and we will have eliot, and after that the republican of oklahoma will be talking about death and fiscal matters.
7:46 am
with him, we will be right back with rependgel. -- rep. engel. correct this weekend -- -- from lectures and history, socialism and america, eric on the rise of socialism 20th- century america. such tonight at 8 eastern. and more from the contenders. our series on key political figures who ran for presidency and lost. but made history. this weekend -- the new republican would lose to both fdr in 1994, and harry truman and '48.
7:47 am
american history tv this weekend on c-span 3. >> it was about to those men and women who are almost mortally injured and war. you, because of the huge advances that have been made in medical treatment of a last 10 years, now they are being saved. an incredible number of them are being saved. almost everyone who falls on the battlefield is being saved. and i wanted to write about what life was like for these people. and i started off with a question -- having seen as some people who are pretty, pretty gruesomely -- would not it be better off if there were dead? do not they wish they were dead? >> his 10 a part series for the if"huffington opposed" and in a subsequent e-book, he spoke with
7:48 am
families, surgeons, come back medics and nurses on a daily struggles for those wounded in military operations. learn more sunday at 8:00 p.m. if on c-span and's queue and f.a.. >> "washington journal" continues. host: now on your screen as a democrat of new york and a longtime member of the house foreign affairs committee. congressman, before we went to break, we showed this headline. bombing may signal meltdown in syria. and a similar one in the financial times. this morning, their lead editorial -- the beginning of the end for a assas. what is your assessment? guest: first of all, i hope it is the beginning for assad. he is a brutal dictator. his family has ruled for years.
7:49 am
it is brittle. i think the syrian people deserve a better. this may very well be the tipping point in this battle. we have san these battles of before. they are at a point where it seems totip. and the very bold insurgent bomb and damascus yesterday, which filled the defense minister, the former defense minister, his brother-in-law, and high-ranking security official, this one to the inner core of the security system of this nation, which has been beating back. and if the rebels can get this far and be that successful, it may very well cause some people who are wavering higher up and the regime to join the opposition. this may be the beginning of the n. host: i want to read a little
7:50 am
from this article and see what to think about this. president obama refused requests from assad opponents to arm the rebels, saying it would make matters worse. he left that role and turkey which could harm peace and the -- that is according to daniel. would you like to see the united states to more? guest: i would. but i think united states is doing plenty. there are a lot of things happening behind the scenes that we do not read about in the papers. i think it is the best interest of the at the state's -- hours to predict interest to see assad go. there is a rationale to get involved in libya, some questioned whether that was in the united states national interest. i think it is in the united states national interest to see assad go. syria is the closest ally to iran.
7:51 am
it would be a big blow to the iranian government. and certainly, we know that iran is not a friend of the united states. so, i think that the case for this being in the united states national interest to seeassad go is very great. iran uses syria. they are thousands of troops, thousands of troops and syria. all put their, and aided by iran. in a time when we are very concerned aboutiran developing a nuclear bomb, and their aggressiveness to see the syrian regime fall, it would be a tremendous blow and it would be in united states national interest in my opinion. host: we have the numbers up on the screen. you'd like to does abate in the conversation. is a long time member of the house affairs committee. i run and hezbollah -- as low
7:52 am
leader announced wednesday that a bomb killed three high-level officials. calling the attack terrorism, they said they were the result of on the foreign meddling in syria and at undermining the so- called axis of resistance. guest: there you have it. you have the iranian regime and desperately trying to save the syrian regime. and these are two that the players in the --. you know, back in 2004, i sponsored what was called and accountability act. was signed into law. slapped the sanctions. a first time had american for this.ctions
7:53 am
by the way, the chemical weapons that syria has need to be safeguarded. that is another worry as well. that in desperation they will turn into that. he has killed so many of his own people. that is something that needs to be secured. host:q are you confident his chemical weapons? guest: i am pretty confident. that is what the report indicates. we think of the regime is going down, too, he may be tempted to use it. but, if the hierarchy in this area -- they may bail out sooner. he may have a chance. he is not going to go quietly. there are all kinds of deals behind the scenes. there could be a transition period is rejected them all. is killed so many of his own people. what makes the blast different yesterday is that it was in
7:54 am
damascus, the capital of the country. and were the centum of the regime is. before you have the rebels -- yesterday, the rebels took it to assad and the heart of damascus. but he is not going easily. he will hold on for a while more. host: you can contact us electronically. journalail is cspan.or >> it is obvious that what is happening in syria represents a real escalation.
7:55 am
and that all of the concerns that we have expressed about the need for assad to step, down if the need for a peaceful transition, the need to achieve a peaceful solution to that situation, that by ignoring, ignoring the international community, that the violence there has only gotten worse and the loss of lives and has only increased. that tells us that this is a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control. and for that reason, it is extremely important that to the international community will work with other countries that have concerns in that area. you have to bring national pressure on assad to do what is right, to step down and allow for national trends. guest: i agree with the secretary. but i personally think that's
7:56 am
assad's chances of stepping down are very remote. that is not in here dna. this is a brutal dictator who will fight to the end, until the season the rating on the wall, he may then flee. but until the things he is down the tubes, he is not leaving easily. again, we have been playing the role behind the scenes of other interested companies. turkey, saudi arabia, and others. there are lots of things happening. this is a brutal dictator. host: do you know, has israel gone on alert at all with everything going on right across the border? guest: well, the israelis obviously are taking a good long look at what is happening. and they are securing their borders. and they do have of people at the borders. initially, both united states and israel were slow, in my opinion, moving to call for assad to step down.
7:57 am
some people here in washington are saying, who are the rebels? we do not know who is. they are they have elements of outcry? what comes next? i always, i feel is more strongly, now it is worth the chance to pull assad out. this is guy who was murdered so many people. there was a rationale for the international community to be concerned in libya because -- i think assad -- i think it is in the united states national interest. think the iranian connection to syria to get rid of the syrian regime -- i know that we are doing lots of things with our allies behind the scenes. and hopefully it will not be soon of the assad is out. russia has blocked the united
7:58 am
states. when we have gone un to get sanctions on syria, russia blocked it. they have a port for military and syria. it is fighting to keep the regime, because the syrian regime as an ally of russia. that complicates it. the two best allies of the syrian regime are russia andiran. and i think we have got to keep the pressure on russia. are things of russia once in the east, and that the head of states can be helpful. i think that we need to push russia. i know the president obama has spoken with president toputin, obviously syria was one of the topics they talked about. we need to keep pushing the russians, because they are a major impediment to us having the international community's full weight push for the removal assad and his brutal regime.
7:59 am
host: the first call comes to steve an independent and arizona. hello, steve. are you with a? he is gone. we will move on to pennsylvania, alice is a democrat. you are on. caller: good morning. i saw two programs. david was on a couple weeks ago. and just to of days ago, josh was all, and both of them say that we need to assassinate assad, since when did the united states get into the assassination of the? ness when need to stop this. israel -- it is dangerous to the people of the united states and the people of the world. guest: well, i do not think anyone is talking about assassinates as ifsad, we are talking about -- about
8:00 am
assassinate king and assad. i think that this was way off base. host: next call from from -- comes from florida. caller: i keep hearing about the innocent syria people that assad is attacking, and yet these people bombed in a terrorist bombing yesterday. they have killed people. if you're going to pick a side, pick a side. do not make it seem like it's some attack by a dictator. it may be a bogus election, but he was elected.
8:01 am
have we learned from their series of lies and provocations? the u.s. have worked with this guy. now he is a double. which is it? guest: i do not think we can work with this guy. i do not think anyone thinks there were serious elections held in syria. they have ruled with an iron fist. assad's father ruled before him. this is a bad guy who is the antithesis of everything the united states stands for, and it is in our national interest to see him removed. in my opinion and in the syrian people's best interests. it is a civil war, has turned into a civil war, and the international red cross last week called it a civil war. but this is not a civil war between two innocent parties.
8:02 am
this is a brutal regime that killed their own people, have ruled with an iron fist with the worst kind of police state tactics, and you have an insurgency that is trying to throw the dictator out of the country. in my estimation, this is not a struggle that the united states has no concerns. we do have a concern. iran is next door. iran desperately wants assad to stay. we had a war between lebanon and syria back in 2006 that is part -- i am sorry, between lebanon and israel in 2006, and as part of the agreement to end that war, but none was supposed to be demilitarized. what has happened is iran has set -- has sent in all kinds of missiles through syria into
8:03 am
lebanon, and they are the biggest ally of hezbollah and the terrorists. and so assad. i think it is not in the best interest with the united states to see assad continue, but more importantly it is not in the best interest of the syrian people. that is why you have this uprising. host: this tweet comes in for our youth from gary. "stay out of syria. as harsh as it sounds, i don't care how many die in syria. it is not our business. let them slug it out to the bitter end." guest: i respectfully disagree. this is just aiding the insurgents to try to throw a brutal dictator, the yoke of his
8:04 am
control, off the country. host: have you been to damascus as a member of the foreign affairs committee? guest: no, i have not. i had the opportunity a number of times but i declined. when i wrote syrian and accountability back in 2004, ice thought it was not a place for me to go. -- i thought it was not a place for me to go. back in the 1970's, the state department issued a list of countries that engage in terrorism. syria was a charter member of that list. every year after that, it was certified, for 25 years, that syria was paul -- was part of a small contention of nations. i did not think it made sense that if we are saying that
8:05 am
syria aids and abets terrorism that we ought to put our money where our mouth is, and that is where the syria accountability act that i sponsored and was able to pass -- i am a democrat, passed it in the a republican congress -- this was a very, very bad guy who had weapons of mass destruction, and that we needed to slap sanctions on him for supporting terrorists, going from syria into iraq. was essentially a occupying lebanon, and part of the sanctions were get them out of occupying lebanon. so we know the record that assad has had. leopards don't change their spots. he has ruled with an iron fist for 40 years, and it is time for him to go. host: with changes of government in the middle east -- egypt, libya, tunisia, iraq -- if
8:06 am
syria changes governments, where do you see the most dangerous spots being left? guest: not including syria? host: not including syria. guest: i think syria is the most egregious, glaring thing that is still out there. you have had regime changes in medley of the -- in many of the middle eastern countries. most of us who are for democracy would like to see democratic change in iran. that is right near syria. if the syria regime goes, it might spur activists in iran. several summers ago there was an uprising in iran. the u.s. response was not the way it should have been, so the uprising was brutally crushed by
8:07 am
the iranian regime, which the syrian regime is trying to repeat in syria. in the u.s. struggle in iran against terrorism and extremism, what happens in syria is an important part of that struggle. host: the next call comes from new orleans. clarence, from our democrats like, you are on "washington journal." caller: good morning. they keep saying it is about syria, but you keep hearing iran, iran, iran. is it about iran or about syria? do they think the iranian people are stupid? any way they make a nuclear attack on somebody, or on israel, don't they know their country will be wiped out? israel will respond with a nuclear attack, and about iran
8:08 am
having nuclear weapons in the middle east, iran should not have nuclear-weapons -- does israel have nuclear-weapons? guest: you ask a lot of different questions. the difference between israel and iran is that israel is a democracy that has elections like we do in the united states. whereas iran and syria are police states, fascist states, where the people have no say whatsoever. the struggle to prevent iran from having nuclear weapons is a struggle of concern for many countries in the middle east and out of the middle east. that is something that we have concerns with. again, syria, in my estimation, has been essentially a client of iran, a puppet state of iran. we know that iran's interests
8:09 am
and the interest of our country are very different. that is why the united states, obama administration coordination with our eyes and nato are working hard -- with our allies in nato, are working hard on sanctions. host: next call for el comestative aeng from farouq in ohio. caller: good morning, mr. eng el. my brother is -- good morning. host: you know what, turn off your tv appeared simply go ahead and talk. caller: good morning, mr. engel,
8:10 am
thank you very much. host: i am not going to hang up, i am going to put you on hold. they will get bolick -- back on the line and instruct you how to do this properly. hi, laurie. caller: i am first encouraged about, as republicans, democrats, and independence, we are voicing our concern over what could possibly become world war iii. i am concerned about the false flag this country might start. also, google wesley clark's comments about the nation's we have to take down their regimes, and you will hear that syria has to come down before iran. please, people, when it up, and let's all come together and tell
8:11 am
our government to stop killing innocent children. i am a nurse -- innocent children. thank you. guest: i do not think in syria it is our government that is killing innocent children. it is the government of assad in syria that is killing innocent men, women, and children. that is one of the reasons i believe assad has got to go. he has been a mass murderer of his own people, killing tens of thousands of his own people. it is very well documented the man is a danger and should be removed. i want to say that i am not advocating u.s. involvement in another war. i am not advocating support for u.s. ground suqs -- ground troops. i am opposed to u.s. ground troops. but i think there are ways we can help arm the rebels and help
8:12 am
behind the scenes providing safe havens for the rebels and things like that that can help the syrian people remove this brutal dictator whose family has ruled with an iron fist for 40 years. host: farouq, if you are ready, please start. caller: good morning, mr. engel. can you hear me? host: sir, we are listening. caller: my brother, in london, used to work for assad. he was the secretary of foreign minister who was assassinated by bashar. these people are sectarian thugs, and there are many in syria who love america, land of the free and wilson doctrine.
8:13 am
we want syria to be a model ethnic state. you are right, assad, the father , came by 40 votes. my daughter works in egypt, and as sooner -- the sooner you get assad out -- we met with mr. robert -- i told him the best way to get assad out is to give him an ultimatum so a group gets rid of him. you do not have to put boots on the ground. send him an ultimatum. i am from his area and they are our neighbors. they are mafias, killing women
8:14 am
and children. they send you a car to kill americans. they are not sectarian. host: are you still there? caller: i am a nationalist, but my friends want peace in the middle east. we need to get rid of assad, iran. host: i think we got the point. we appreciate you calling in. guest: i agree with him. he is typical of people in syria who are tired of living, again, under a dictatorship, a brutal police state, and want change. when we were trying to put pressure on syria to get out of lebanon back in 2003 and 2004, lebanese americans were among the strongest supporters of my
8:15 am
syria accountability act because they came from lebanon, have relatives in lebanon, and wanted lebanon to be free of syrian rule. for a brief time, that was realized, but now syria and unfortunately is backe, manipulated along with hezbollah. i think farouq is heartfelt and i agree with him. host: this is a tweet for you from joseph ramirez. "representative engel, what fills the vacuum if assad falls ?" guest: that is obviously a concern. this is not something that is all black and all white.
8:16 am
that is why there has been caution on the part of the united states. some people believe you know what you have and you do not know what you're going to get. i would argue that what you have is about the worst possible thing, and any change in syria can only be better for the syrian people, which is the most important thing. but i think better for us, the united states, in the struggle with iran. we are, again, behind the scenes, as are the saudis and the turkish and other countries. it is a disparate elements. it is not one type of people, but we want to make sure that al qaeda does not rear its ugly head and other pitfalls do not happen. nobody said this was easy. we have to be careful, but i think the time has come for assad to go.
8:17 am
host: are you satisfied right now with what is happening in egypt, the progress there? guest: i am concerned about it. the people who started the uprising against what they regard as a police state started the uprising because they want freedom and democracy. there is always a concern that groups like the muslim brotherhood will hijack a democracy. remember, in 1979 in iran, there was a push to get rid of the shah at that time, and many in the united states thought this was the beginning of iranian democracy, throwing out the shah, who was a dictator. iranian forces coopted the iranian revolution. there is the concern that this could happen again in egypt or in syria. i think in egypt, the united
8:18 am
states, we have invested a lot of money. egypt is the largest arab country in terms of population. our military and their military have worked very close. the congress has allocated -- presidents both democratic and republican have signed bills giving billions of dollars of aid to egypt. some humanitarian aid, but lots of military aid. we are -- we have a good relationship with the military, and we want them to play a positive role so that the radical islamists do not hijacked egyptian -- do not hijack egyptian democracy. i'm cautious, but we have to be vigilant and much it, but i think democracy is worth the try, and i hope the same thing happens in syria in terms of democracy coming to that
8:19 am
country. host: next call for representative eliot engel, from alabama. gene, a democrat, you are on the air. caller: yes, representative engel. can you hear me? host: please go ahead with your question or comment. caller: your service is vital to us. we appreciate and we need your input. a lot of americans do not understand why countries like russia and china veto nato votes, and it throws a monkey wrench into the whole thing. for the sake of the american public, we need to know why the majority -- it was mentioned earlier that russia voted against any endeavor to bring
8:20 am
assad down. but china i am sure also was in that mix. like i said, your service is vital, and this is not just for the syrian people, this is for the entire world. host: thank you, a gene. guest: you are very kind. what happened with the russian veto, the u.n. security council set up with five permanent members any one of them, so a veto effectively kills any kind of resolution that comes out of the u.n. security council. this was set up in 1945, and the five permanent members, including the united states, russia, china, great britain, and france -- what has happened is both in the u.s. trying and the u.n. having sanctions, making moves against both syria
8:21 am
and iran, both russia and china has threatened vetoes and has vetoed and blocked in my estimation import resolutions which would cripple the police state certainly in syria. and in terms of iran, strong sanctions to try to prevent iran from having nuclear weapons, strong economic sanctions. we are still putting strong sanctions in against iran, and the u.s. congress has done that. there is pending legislation both in the house and senate. we're trying to reconcile the two bills, and hopefully president obama will sign the bill as he has in the past, to slap sanctions on iran. but aid is hard to do in the united nations -- to do it in the united nations because of the russian and chinese vetoes. host: michael on the republican line. eliot engel is our guest. caller: good morning.
8:22 am
my concern, mr. engel -- by the way, it is a beautiful country over there, and we need to protect that. to get overying the terrorist action on 9/11. one thing to keep in mind with the country of iran, how many of the foreign countries around there have relations to this man that is kind of like another saddam hussein, so to speak, except iraq is in iraq and iran is iran. but my biggest concern is, are there any efforts being done to infiltrate some secret service, are top men in their, trying to weed out those responsible for the mass murdering going on, so
8:23 am
to speak. host: congressman engel? guest: i am not quite sure what the caller was saying. host: do we have assets in syria? guest: i think there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that have the united states working with our allies in the region. we are working to try to effectuate the right change in the middle east, which right now of course syria is front and center. host: is our embassy completely closed over there? guest: i think we do have a skeleton crew over there. some of us question whether the the united states should have an ambassador there. i was one of the people who thought it was a mistake to send an ambassador there because we had had one before for several years. to send one there, i did not
8:24 am
want it to be misinterpreted that we were somehow proving -- that we were somehow approving assad's rule. we had an ambassador there before who had to leave for security reasons, but i think he played the role of going around syria talking with the rebels and giving them some hope that the united states was supportive. he had to leave, obviously, for his own safety, and for all intents and purposes are and the sea is closed with few people there. not very much -- our embassy is closed with few people there. but very much. host: what is our next step? do we just wait it out? guest: i do think, again, we have national interests there. we are and will continue to consult with our friends and
8:25 am
allies in the region, and elsewhere, and we will continue to effectuate hopefully a democratic change in syria. turkey, for instance, has long been an ally of the syrian regime. several months ago they switched because they saw the brutality assad uses against his own people. there are other countries like saudi arabia and others who do not want to see assad continue, who want to see democracy come there. and the way we realize with assad out, it is not only good for the syrian people, but it is a blow to the iranian regime. i think the people of iran deserve the same thing sweeping the middle east, and that is the desire for democracy and to throw off the yoke of oppression and dictatorship, which is
8:26 am
certainly true in iran. if for no other interests than to deal a blow to iran, it is in our national interest to have a regime change in syria. host: i want to ask you about another issue. this is on the front page of "the washington post." "mccain defends clinton aide accused by five in gop." here is the senator from yesterday. >> when anyone, not least a member of congress, wants his speeches and the grating attacks against fellow americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are, out of ignorance, and what they stand for, we all grow poorer because of it. our reputations, our character
8:27 am
are the only things we leave behind when we depart this earth, and unjust acts that malign the good name of a decent and honorable person is not only wrong, it is contrary to everything we hold dear as americans. host: more from the "post" article. a muslim and deputy chief of hillary clinton's staff has been accused of having connections to the muslim brotherhood. that is what senator mccain was talking about. guest: good for john mccain. he was an american hero, american prisoner of war, and good for him speaking out. i know her. she is a fine person, and she serves secretary clinton very well. i have known her for a number of years, and it is an outrage for anyone to throw those accusations at her. it is mean-spirited, off base,
8:28 am
and plain wrong. good for senator mccain. host: anthony weiner may be running for mayor of new york city. what do you think about that? guest: i think everyone has the right to run. he is married to uma, a very interesting. i wish him well. he has not told me he is running, i think it is just speculation. thank god we live in a democracy. everyone has the right to run, and let the people decide. host: new york city, joe, independent line. you are on with representative eliot engel. caller: can you tell us what country organizations in the area you and your colleagues
8:29 am
have advance the position you are telling us about this morning regarding syria? and we wish you and the kids all the best. host: is he a friend of yours? do you know joe and betty? -- joe and betty? guest: joe is my cousin, so nice to have family and friends on the line. israel is the only democracy in the middle east. i want to see more democracies in the middle east and around the world. i would like to see one in syria, one in iran. hopefully egypt becomes a democracy and is not coopted or taken over with -- by people with other ideas. the united states is the greatest country in the world, and i like our democracy and i want to see more of it around
8:30 am
the world. host: bill beattie has tweeted several times about the russian fleet, including several marines, steaming towards syria. guest: that is guest: there are things that russia wants and needs from the united states and nato, and it has to be made clear to putin that if there is reckless behavior on syria, there is a price to pay. putin is not stupid. he understands the stakes are high. it is important to talk from a position of strength. host: we have been talking to representative eliot ankle. thank you for talking with us. member of the foreign affairs committee. senator tom coburn will be with
8:31 am
us to talk about fiscal issues. after that, we will be looking at the "time" magazine cover story on military suicides. mark thompson is the co-author of a cover story. here is an update from c-span radio. karlc news's jonathan reports that the democratic national committee is offering an apology of sorts to ann romney for footage of her dancing show wars. the dnc used the horse in a mocking way to show me wrong -- to attack mitt romney for nine releasing his tax returns and dancing around the issue. mrs. romney says the attacks are beneath the dignity of the presidency, and said that governor romney took no salary
8:32 am
during his time governing massachusetts. she asked people to decide if their lives would be better under mitt romney than president obama. as for the president's, part, michelle obama travels to for janet tomorrow to launch a new initiative -- travels to virginia to march to launch a new initiative, to get voters who have not yet gotten engaged in the election to start. it uses digital media and grass- roots organizing, and mrs. obama delivers remarks in charlottesville and will speak to grass-roots supporters in fredericksburg about the initiative. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> there has been a hostility to poverty. lyndon johnson was the best president that look at poverty issues and spend money on it and talk about the social service programs.
8:33 am
i hate to say this, but richard nixon is actually the father of minority business development. he established the small business administration and used the term "economic justice." richard nixon. economic justice. >> the former president of the bennett college for women regularly writes about politics, education, and african-american economic history. sunday at noon eastern, your tweets.-mails, and a julianne malveaux on "ine depth." journal"ngton continues.
8:34 am
host: joining us is senator tom coburn. you had an op-ed in "the new york times," and there is a back-and-forth on taxes and spending. would you like to clarify your position -- guest: i am pretty clear. we ought to have the lowest taxes we can and not ask our children and grandchildren to pay our taxes. that is what the democrats and republicans, both parties, no matter who is in control, have been doing for years. quite frankly, what it means to my kids, about your age, and grandchildren, is that their standard of living is going to be markedly lower until somebody stands up in washington and says it has got to stop. the idea that you cannot have increased revenues to the government is wrong. i agree with that principle. the federal government is twice
8:35 am
the size it was 11 years ago. there is a real reason to challenge the growth and expansion of the federal government. but to put a line in the sand that says the only way we are going to do this is without any increase in federal revenue is -- is there really 60 tom coburns in the senate who believe that? i think there are zero. you see inside the senate and house, the problems in front of our nation are big. they are intending. they are coming soon. to not act like we have not acted this year in the senate on anything of consequence to fix the problems of the country, for political reasons, it is criminal. i think america would be better off with all of this thrown out and sending other people up
8:36 am
here, because of the leadership failures in washington, including the president. host: politically speaking, part of the political argument is whether or not taxes can, sure, will be raised on those making $250,000 and more. guest: that is all political argument. the top 1% pay 38% of all the taxes right now. the top 10% pay 70% let me tell you what is not fair. what is not fair is to put people in systems that keep them down. that's what's not fair. what's not fair is creating 75,000 new people under ssdi while we only create 64,000 new jobs. that is what is not fair. was not fair is having $250 billion a year wasted on duplicate programs in the federal government while we steal the future of our kids. that is what's not fair.
8:37 am
what we know has worked in the past is reforming the tax cut by taking away tons of credits, kinds of deductions, and went reagan and the democrats did that in the 1980's, we saw 4.9% real gdp growth on average for four years in a row. why don't we go back and look at what has worked? what worked was a compromise. that is what i pushed it out of 535 members of congress, i have the highest rating, most conservative when it comes to taxes. i am willing to do what is necessary to fix our country and put us on the glide path to create a different future. right now the future is a debt bomb. host: you write in your most recent book, "the debt bomb,"
8:38 am
"we are effectively bankrupt. our debt now exceeds the size of our entire economy. our payments on our obligations, our unfunded liabilities, exceed our income as far as the eye can see to it no amount of tax revenue will be enough." guest: unless you change entitlements, which is, unless you modify medicare, unless you modify social security, unless you modify medicaid, unless you modify a lot of the long-term commitments that career politicians have promised, with no revenue source to pay for it but to get reelected -- unless you modify that, we are belly up. what happens? if you look at the lack of leadership and integrity in washington today, what will happen is they won't do anything, and what you'll see is inflation and currency debasement, which is the worst tax of all.
8:39 am
you never get a vote on that one. that is what we are going to see. what does that mean in the short term? this year -- if you graduate from college this year, one in two don't get a permanent job. we will slow decrease the purchasing power of the dollar that you will be able to retire -- won't be able to retire. the lack of integrity about what the options are from politicians in washington is sickening. the only way you get out of debt is to quit spending money or earn more money. we somehow think we can have this magic potion in washington that we don't have to sacrifice. here is my last observation. this country has lived the last 30 years off the next 30, and
8:40 am
the bill is due. we don't like it, we know like somebody to sit -- we don't like somebody to say that, that we all have to sacrifice now, because we had the lollipop before we had our green beans, but we are going to have to sacrifice now. that means everybody. some of more than others, but everyone, if they want the country to survive. host: senator coburn, this article in "roll call." "said it may su -- it may soon grind to halt." i want to show you what happened with reid and mcconnell. [video clip] >> quit blaming everybody else. it is not the house, not the
8:41 am
senate. why don't we operate the way we used to with leaders of both parties, and understood that amendments are part of the process, because everybody doesn't agree on everything. >> we are not been able to get to those -- >> you try calling them up -- >> i have listened patiently to all his name calling, and i don't intend to do that. i do say this -- have tried to call lots of things, by consent or filing motions. virtually everything has been held up. host: senator covert? gues -- senator coburn? guest: it shows you where politics trump's policy. three years without a budget. why is there not a budget? they have a good chairman of the budget committee, kent conrad. he has been instructed not they
8:42 am
want to vote on amendments assisted with the budget. the reason harry is intriguing things to the floor, and when he does bring them, does not bring them in regular water, is that he does not want members to vote on things that will reflect in their election. when politics comes the best interest of our country, which it has done for three years leadership,reid's and when the excuse, the real reason for doing that is the lack of having to take a tough vote, what that tells you is that the people that are in the senate that agree with that have no business being in the senate. there is not a vote you can take in the senate that you shouldn't want to defend and be able to defend. i will give you a great example. one of the most conservative senators, i voted for tarp.
8:43 am
i had to do a lot of explaining for why i voted for tarp in oklahoma. i still think it was exactly the right for the country -- right vote for the countries interests. it was terrible for me politically majority leader reid is ruining the tradition and keeping senators from being who they should be, which is men and women who are willing to stand up and take a position and then defended. what you have going on and the senate is nothing, nothing of consequence to solve the problems of this country, which i outlined in my book and we talked about a little bit this morning. nothing to address that has happened in the u.s. senate, and the reason is not because there are not democrats who want to solve those problems. it is because the number one policy goal of having read is to bring back 23 senators. tell me how that is good for the country could i wish we had no
8:44 am
parties anymore. the games being played in terms of politics is killing our country. host: very quickly, when you look back some of the efforts that were sort of extra-party -- gang of six, supercommittee -- it has been about a year or so. how do you see those efforts? guest: icy partisans in both parties are the very people that know what those of us who want to solve the problem to succeed. look, the problem with politicians in washington, and i areerism -- somebody else will call it something else -- we are always waiting until the next election to make the hard courses. we need authentic leadership in the senate and every position.
8:45 am
an exit interview with the head of the census yesterday. a real authentic leader pierre he has done a magnificent job. i applaud president obama for nominating him. he is leaving government. when we see real leaders, we see effectiveness cap-and-trade if you want to know why the senate is not working -- we see effectiveness, and. if you want to know why the senate isn't working, it is harry reid. host: the head of the census will be on tomorrow to take your calls. guest: i did not know that. host: you are on with senator tom coburn of oklahoma. caller: good morning, everyone. the democrats' plan to keep in place test cuts for those to
8:46 am
make $250,000 or less would also benefit those who make more than $230,000. americans making $250,000 or less will benefit, and americans making more than into one of $50,000 would see tax cut on the first $250,000. why is that not an acceptable compromise? guest: because i.t. is not a compromise on the real problems. the problems are not taxes, the problem is that the government is twice the size it was, and we see the problem as until use of the entitlement problem -- until you solve the entitlement problem -- i am happy with increased taxes paid and have increased revenue, broadening the base. i am happy to see that and eliminate large numbers of deductions. but i am not willing to tax the american people want to send more than we eliminate the fraud and duplication -- tax the american people one cent more
8:47 am
until we eliminate the fraud and duplication. until we truly put social security on a sustainable path, and until we fix the cost overruns in medicaid that are occurring every year. the grand bargain is a combination of both of those. ask yourself who on the other side of the aisle that i represent has offered a solution to things other than ron wyden. no one. you are going to get $60 billion over 10 years over the plans that are put forward now as a political game. i have no problem with the very wealthy great if you ask the very wealthy in this country that make that, they have no problem paying more taxes. they are willing to do it. but not if it is going to grow the government cannot solve the problems that are in front of us. until you solve the medicare problem and until use of
8:48 am
the entitlement problem, you are not going to solve the problem. you cannot tax our way out of this and we cannot borrow our way out of eight. the baby boomers are going to bankrupt medicare. the average couple now pays in a $130,000 in medicare taxes their entire life. they take out $350,000 in medicare. if you put that on top of the swelling numbers of my generation coming into medicare, you can see that it is not long, it is gone. second point -- the people on social security today will take out $21 trillion more than they put into social security. why do those things happen? because career politicians promise you one thing but never promised a way to pay for it, which is acts factly the opposite and exactly what thomas jefferson -- which is exactly the opposite and exactly what thomas jefferson award what
8:49 am
happened to desperate there should not be a program set up when there is not a tax levied to pay for it. career politicians of both parties have done that. there's not going to be a bargain on taxes until there is a bargain on the whole thing to fix this country. host: senator coburn has term- limited himself. you have a four years left. and then? guest: i have six grandchildren and i cannot wait to spend time with them. i believe in our founders did nobody wants to talk about it. they talked about rotation. somebody of experience ought to come and serve for a while and then go home. we have eight large number of people in washington, well
8:50 am
intentioned, lovely people, who have zero common sense making decisions for our country. it is not because the bank intended to treat it is because they have no real world experience other than politics. host: this is senator coburn's second book, "the debt bomb." tweet for you. guest: i disagree with that, and that is just political -- i am one of the most conservative senators, i worked across the aisle. if the senate operated the way it operated under bill frist, you would not have seen any of these problems. you would see a lot of things solve. host: diana, republican line. caller: hi, senator coburn. i've been watching you and i have your book, and i just finished it.
8:51 am
my question does tie in to your comments about social security, medicare, and medicaid. you are a baby boomer, i am a baby boomer, we are both recovering cancer patients. i am also concerned about the fiscal cliff. here is my question -- there are several articles and c-span even had a lady on yesterday talking about her new book, and an expert in "newsweek," and the whole idea behind these articles and books is my parent is dying, here is what happened, here is what i did, could i do it better? joe klein even had an article where he called himself his father's on a death panel -- own death panel.
8:52 am
where do you see the aggravation in the public about the debt and d.b. bombers stressing our -- and baby boomer stresss and out about life services? guest: well, i -- boy, that is a complicated question. i am actually a three-time cancer survivor. look, i think the question is tied with our problem in health care. some of the things we now -- one is that one out of every $3 we spend on health care is totally wasted. there is 5 the studies, the last was a thomson reuters study, as demint $350 billion a year -- estimating $350 billion a year. why is that? most of it is because most of the health care purchased in this country, we all think somebody else is paying the bill.
8:53 am
i assume you have a health insurance policy. i have a health insurance policy. once we got our deductible done, hey, it doesn't cost anything. what is the busiest operating room date in the united states? the day before the end of the year could everybody has their .eductible -- let's get it done what is the slowest? the second or third or fourth of january, when nobody has the deductible. i think there is weakness on the part of the physicians to stand up for patients. as we go to this accountable care organization, hospital- bound to doctors, which is about 75% of it for the next year, unless you have a consistent relationship with patients, he will have doctors -- my experience with patients, and a lot of times in my patients well -- i knew my patients well.
8:54 am
end of life, elderly, had an irretrievable condition, and a lot of the family members said, "we want you to do more." i said, "i'm sorry, i had an agreement with your father, i am not doing this. you are going fire m -- you are going to have to fire me." when i came to that moment, i was not going to hurt him. i was going to let nature take its course. 75% of the time, people would come down and think about what they thought their father really wanted. a few times they would fire me and get somebody else, and i was fine with that. how we are planning things with this new emphasis on terror through aco -- on care through more is you will have
8:55 am
cost, because you will have less relationship between the physician and patient. constitutionally, we don't have a role to tell the states. it is a hard issue. one of the things that seniors could do to help us is to make sure they have an advance directive and speak to their children -- i am coming back to haunt you if you are doing it for you and not doing it for me. don't put me on a machine if it is not my time. by the way, that does not count in this $850 billion of waste that does not help anybody. she asked a great question. it is a tough question. my daughters all know that if i am here, leave me alone, let nature take its course, and i am coming back to get you if you
8:56 am
haven't. host: next call is from lafayette, louisiana. dan, independent line. caller: yes, good morning. guest: good morning. caller: i would like to concur with some other comments and dialogue of the senator there was giving h. both parties cannot agree, but they can agree on the patriot act, taking security away from the american citizens. they can agree with those things, but not on others. it is a big dog and pony show, corporate america. what we desperately need in this country is a third-party, because i'm looking at voting for president and i have two choices. i have a man that clearly represents the wealthy, corporate america, and a man who says -- who surround himself
8:57 am
with them in the white house and is hell bent on taking away our privacy. it is time for this two-party corporate-owned a political system to end, and we desperately need -- before i go vote again, i desperately need a third-party candidacy, and i am looking at the green party now. everybody ought to wake up and shut down this two-party system. host: all right, we got your point. senator coburn, third parties. guest: remember, a career politicians and washington have made it very difficult for a third party to get and go to it one way you will get a third party is if the republicans win in november and don't fix the country. you are going to get a third party, because they are not going to exist anymore. host: would you consider joining a third party?
8:58 am
is the level of frustration such -- guest: i don't have a frustration with the positions my party has taken. i have a frustration with individuals within my party that don't stand up and honor the positions they say they believe in. if you really believe that the government is way outside the bounds it should be constitutionally, and we have grown it enough, why would you vote to continue to fund the government. if republicans believe we should not have a $1.20 trillion deficit this year, why would you vote for cr? what we say and what we do, and more from youa lot but what i see you do than what i hear you say. everybody says that if you don't vote for this, you will have a government shutdown.
8:59 am
well, now. we will have a government shutdown sooner or later. the rest of the world is not going to finance our government. america needs to wake up. this government has grown way beyond its balance. we have demonstrated -- you've read in the book -- all the duplicative programs. hundreds of billions of dollars a year of waste, and nobody holds them accountable, no metric on the them. i had the last two years where different senators brought bills to committees that were the same exact thing being done in the federal government, and they did not know what they were bid talk about competency level. this is not hard to solve. what is hard to solve this parochialism by courier members of congress who don't want to change anything, because it
9:00 am
might cause me to lose a vote at home. the washington politicians are not going to ever fix our problems. i don't care what strike or ilk they fixing it becomes greater than the pain of the problem and we had. and that is a sad state of affairs. what that says is there is no real, authentic leadership in our country anymore. it is people gaming the system. unfortunately, that is too often true. it is about the politicians, not about the well-being of the country. host: chicago. carl. good morning. caller: senator coburn, i have become disappointed with republicans. i think they have lost their ability to be objective. i want to speak to what you said about taxes.
9:01 am
it is true about the wealthy pay large percent of our taxes, but this is the other side. they have been talking about this for the past 30 years, that most of america's prosperity has gone to the 10%. we sit down at the dinner table, 10% of us are getting a full meal and the other 90% are eating salad. that is the inequity that is created by these problems. it is not a class warfare thing, it is just the truth. i do not see anyone on the republican side willing to the knowledge that this has been a problem. trickle-down did not work. it may have been well- intentioned, but it is flawed. i would like to hear your response to that please.
9:02 am
guest: first of all, in the 1980's it worked well. you have the middle class and lower class individuals gaining in terms of their standard of living. i would put forward to you that there are very few who do not agree with you that the wealthy should be paying more. i would tell you that many of the wealthy absolutely agree with that. what they are not willing to do, and i think rightly so, is to make those payments so we can have more bureaucracies, more programs, rather than make those payments to lower the debt and deficit. the real reason there has not been an upward mobility in our country is the government is taking too large of a share. when you combine government, state, and county, we're almost 40% of the government in terms of gdp of the country. the reason we did better than
9:03 am
everyone else in the world for such a long time was because the government was not taking 40%. we are on track for the government to take 60% of the gdp. you cannot solve that tax problem. there will be a larger percentage. i put out subsidies for the rich and famous, which out line between $20 billion and $30 billion a year that they benefit from. i want to get rid of that. that will cause them to pay more taxes. i question that i leave you with is, is your answer to have the government redistribute that? how well has that worked in the rest of the world? but we tried to do right now is copy europe, and europe is failing. that would be the mistake it would make. you really go back to pre enterprise and lessen the role of federal government, other
9:04 am
than in terms of regulatory, you will see up for mobility. i will give you a statistic. since president obama has been president, we have added 75,000 people a month to the disability rolls hand we have created 62,000 jobs. i do not know whether all those people are disabled or not. i can tell you is, when we create dependence in this country, what we're actually doing is taking away the potential of those individuals, and we are limiting their god- given abilities and we are making people dependent when they otherwise would not be. host: two articles in the paper. the defense industry testimony yesterday on the hill. domestic programs brace for sequester acts.
9:05 am
what is your position on sequestration? guest: i did not vote for that. it is stupid to do an across- the-board cut. that means that you are going to cut programs that are working equally as those that are unaffected. i agree, cutting the defense department will affect some jobs, but there was also a study put out yesterday that showed it did not be as big as all the claims are. there is a plan right now to raise the level by the defense industry as how bad this will be on jobs, hoping to scare movement. the fact is, the pentagon has taken some hits. i think it is disproportionate to the pentagon, given what they have already done. we need to modify that. sequester is a stupid idea, but
9:06 am
the total amount of money is not. how do we do it better? the scare tactics on jobs, there needs to be decreased jobs from the defense department. we have a brand new aircraft that we are building that is $800 million over cost estimates right now. ask yourself, how confident are we when we are halfway building this ship and year $800 million over cost? where are the grown-ups in the pentagon that are managing our kids dollars? we are building that aircraft carrier with money from china. if anything happens on interest rates -- and it will, the question is when. in our historical interest cost, about 5.8%, and we are paying less than 2% now, if we go back to historical interest
9:07 am
rates, you are talking about adding $750 billion a year to the budget just to pay interest, for one year. why would we do that to our kids? my frustration is, there are big problems in front of our country. they are all solvable. i have some of it -- some solutions at the end of the book. the fact that we are not addressing, what mike mullen says is the greatest risk to our country, our debt, the fact we are not addressing that says that we do not deserve to be in washington. host: the book is "the debt bomb." a couple of sweets -- -- tweets
9:08 am
-- guest: 10% to 15%, easy. i can show that to you, and so can anyone else in the military. in your area of responsibility, could you find -- if you had to reach a 10%? i never had anybody tell me know. -- me no. that is different in afghanistan right now. that is not true for our troops over there. stateside? you bet. host: felix tweets in -- guest: some variation of it may be. i voted for simpson-bowls because i thought we need to get action to the floor. the problem was it did not fix medicare. that is why they get no house
9:09 am
republicans to vote for it. it had nothing to do with increased taxes. it had to do with what was in the package. it had to do with not fixing medicare. host: next call for center coburn, we have about seven minutes left with our guest. john, republican line. caller: i want to thank the senator for his service and for your time today. my question is, is there nothing that the rest of the senate can do to senator reid to pass the budget, to do what they are supposed to do? also, i understand there are several bills, 15 to 30 is what i heard.
9:10 am
he will not even allow the senate to vote on these. i do not think that is right, nor do i think it is fair that he is not a lot in the senate to vote on, just to help obama, or as you said earlier, to help the centers not take a boat when they are coming up for election -- senators take a vote when they are coming up for election. >> i did not know the exact number. it is around 30. the senate was designed to protect the minority so that minority rights were always heard on every bill. when it first started, you have to have 100% agreement to move a bill. in other words, our founders said if we want to force compromise, we do not want it to
9:11 am
be a reaction to popular demand. we want the senate to force compromise. the way you do that is let the senate, through its history of the last 70 years, other than the last three, four, worked its will. which means i can come down and offer a stupid amendment not even related to a bill, but there is a cost to me for doing that because other senators whose respect. when i go ask them to help reduce living that is legitimate, they said, you abuse your power down there. i think i will pass. what harry has done, any bill that he builds on the floor, rarely have they been through committee, which is a regular order. they were written in some political machine. then there are no minutes. is the running of the senate, in terms of abuses, has conquered
9:12 am
all the rest of the heads of the senate combined in the history of the senate. to me, it is shameful. that is not partisan. i actually love the said my first two years. here is a place where things can really happen. on the floor of the senate, you get a chance to put for your ideas and explain why it is a good one. you may get the data or say that i do not want to take advantage of the courtesies they afforded me. what is happening in the senate today is nothing is getting debated or passed and the american people are not hearing that. all they hear is the political spin that either fox or msnbc runs, and neither one of our right. you have to go to the middle to find out where the truth is. it is a disaster for our country. host: marion, ohio.
9:13 am
mary, go ahead. caller: first off, i agree that the debt is going to be our country's downfall. there are a lot of things i do not agree with. i hear we need to cut back on medicare and medicaid. we have people who need these benefits that you guys in the government are talking about cutting back on. you have your entertainers and government people, politicians, and what not making hundreds of thousands, millions of month. maybe we could cut back on how much they are making. on top of that, we have a legal aliens and foreign people coming to our country. they do not have to pay taxes in our country.
9:14 am
it should be on them, not on us, to force them live like us. if we allow them to live in our country, they should not get breaks. these people are already struggling in life to make it. host: i think we got a lot on the table. let's get a response from senator coburn. guest: nobody is talking about cutting back. they are talking about reforming medicare. if you want to continue to fraudulently pay $60 billion a year for people who do not deserve to get them, let's continue to do that. i can tell you that your grandchildren cannot afford that. if you think that we can all have the same level of benefits in every program without some economies of scale, then let's continue to do it. all it means is, what we care
9:15 am
is more about us than our grandkids. to many career politicians have promised things that we cannot afford. now that the bill is due, we cannot get another credit card, and the hard decisions -- the very wealthy will pay more taxes in this country. everyone knows that will happen. even though the top 10% is paying 70% of all the taxes. that is going to happen. but you cannot not fix medicare. social security is an easy one to fix but it will require some slight adjustments in the tax rate for the wealthy, but it will also require additional advancement in age when you are eligible. it also require a total revamping of disability. one in 17 people in this country are not disabled, but that is what we are paying in terms of disability right now.
9:16 am
30% of it is fraudulent. a lot of people know others on who are perfectlyar capable. you need to have an explanation for your children about why we are so selfish in our generation. and i'm not talking about the very poor and those totally dependent on the safety net. i am talking about those above that level that have decided they would rather take now and the heck with their kids and grandkids. that is the choice. whether the politicians do it or the president, the fact is, international financiers, because we have put ourselves in such a hole with our debt, the choices are either going to be
9:17 am
in our hands to determine the future or the people that lost money. i would rather than dick durbin and i sit down and negotiate a compromise between republicans and democrats on what is best for the be in our hands to determine future chinese telling us what to do. you may not like to hear that story. the fact is, we have lived the last 30 years. the bill for it will be placed on the next 30. what that means is you are stealing the future from our children. i am willing to do my part, pay more taxes, make sacrifices now for my kids and grandkids, and i the most americans are, too. host: it is getting to be the end of july. you are due to recess in august. what you foresee between now and recess? essentially, will congress do anything before the election, and how do you foresee the winter? guest: given the problems of the country, there is no way we should recess but we are not working on any of the problems. what are we recessing in front
9:18 am
of all the problems? because getting reelected is prime, not doing what is best for the country. we are doing nothing of real significance in the senate and we have not all summer. my wife can tell i'm depressed every monday morning getting up early and flying back here. to apply the effort to do something that is not solving the problems is not encouraging. i think you will see political games played the whole time. you will see political games played -- the republicans want to shut down the government. there will be a cr. we could have passed appropriations bills in the senate. nobody wants to vote. you will see political games played. what i will tell you, out of
9:19 am
both parties, do not believe anything. study it for yourself. see how the politicians are actually hurting the country rather than helping. frankly, not much is going to happen, other than political gamesmanship and spin between now and the election. host: and here is senator coburn's book "the debt bomb." thank you for being here. one more segment coming up. here is the "time" magazine cover story. mark thompson is one of the co- authors of this article. he will be here after this update from c-span radio. >> unemployment numbers from the labor department show the number of americans seeking benefits rose last week by 34,000, to a
9:20 am
seasonally adjusted 386,000, but those figures may have been distorted by seasonal factors. the increase reverses the drop from last week. an update in violent from syria. the un security council is expected to vote this morning on a resolution to put pressure on syrian president bashar assad. the sanction puts measures on the government if it does not pull troops and heavy weapons out of populated areas within 10 days. the vote was delayed yesterday because russia did not believe -- agree with all the terms. today's meeting begins at 10:00 eastern time. here in washington, homeland security secretary janet napolitano heads to capitol hill today to discuss immigration. the secretary will testify before the house judiciary committee for the first time since the obama administration announced plans to stop deporting many legal immigrants brought to the u.s. as children and do not have a criminal
9:21 am
record. house republicans have criticized the plan, calling a back door amnesty that circumvents the will of congress. listen to the hearing live at 10:00 eastern. those are some of the latest 10 months. >> things happen in the last few decades that are changing the nature of large corporations. that is the cycle time. the amount of time they have to stay on top of the pack has been incredibly compressed by globalization, technology shift, regulatory shift. in fact, large corporations now not only need to deal with existing markets and customers and markets, a need to deal with disruption. description is when they have a great core business and some crazy comes along and says, we are going to take out this company. the best examples of this are two of the smartest companies.
9:22 am
anybody have a blackberrys? nokia phone? i was in finland at the nokia board meeting and 90 iphone came out. they passed around a copy at a board meeting and the fatal " was, why should we care about this? >> the closing keynote address, steve blank on innovation and economic growth. find the video online at the c- span video library. host: the cover of "time" magazine. inside is this picture. mark thompson, who was ian morrison? guest: a 2007 west point graduate.
9:23 am
a highly successful young man in high school, and then in hot -- college at west point. but it -- the day he graduated from west point, vice-president cheney told him and his classmates, you will have everything you need to do your job. several years later, ian morrison, by then an apache helicopter pilot, did not have anything of what he needed when he tried to grapple with is anxiety and sleeplessness after a tour in iraq. in march, he sought help from the army and military six times in three days and was either turn away, said you have come to the wrong place, or stand in mind, we cannot help you. he killed themselves on march 21. host: how did he get there in those five years? guest: every suicide is unique. editors and generals are forever asking, how do we fix this? it is not a "this" but a bunch
9:24 am
of this's. there is no one size fits all solution. some things affect more people than others. some folks that i have talked to that have been to iraq and afghanistan 10 times or more are not bothered by it and others are. you have different dynamics with the family, job, ptsd, tbi, the two signature injuries of this war. you never know what is going to drive somebody to take their own life. host: you write, more soldiers have killed themselves than have died in the afghan war. approximately 2000 soldiers have died since that afghan campaign
9:25 am
began. correct? guest: in the army, about 1100 in combat. suicide, about 1200. host: when you look at that 1200, in your article, you write, "combat trauma cannot alone account for the trend. nearly 20% of the suicides were among troops that never deployed. 43% had only deployed once. you have got those stats. how do you put the why's
9:26 am
together? guest: yes, the younger you are, the more mail you are, of the less your income, the more likely you are going to kill yourself. that is true across society. when drive the army crazy is hearing the following. since they have been keeping records, starting in the early 1980's, the suicide rate was always lower than that of its adjusted civilian cohorts. after 9/11 it began to escalate. in 2005, it really began to shoot up. ,he army's former no. 2 told me in the last decade, it has doubled. it is now higher than the civilian right. the army, like any other big entity, is always eager to keep its people alive. the army was successful in reducing the number of traffic fatalities among their people in their off hours, with anti-
9:27 am
alcohol campaign and others, and other military people said, if we focus strongly enough, we can conquer suicide, too. but that is not happening, and that is what has a lot of people in the military frustrated. host: we have the numbers up on the screen supported by region. if you want to speak with mark thompson -- we have set aside a third line on this program for active duty iraq and afghanistan military. we want to hear from you and get your perspective, get your stories on the issue of suicide in the military. mark thompson, has there been,
9:28 am
over the last 20, 30 years, and are these wars unique, when it comes to the number of suicides? guest: based on available evidence, yes. we do not have records that go back to far. let's face it, these wars are being ught in different ways than any nation has ever fought a war. both of these words have been extended. afghanistan is now in its 11th year. number two, fought with relatively small forces. number three, there was no draft. the same folks kept on going back and back. all of these things contribute to the unique and are now that these suicides are happening in. it is almost like a reverse layaway plan. we had the war yesterday but we will pay for it tomorrow, fiscally, in terms of the fact we are not paying for them as they occur, and mentally, as the signature wounds of the war are tbi and ptsd.
9:29 am
these are injury that do not always make themselves manifest when they occur, but they are like see that are planted. they can sprout weeks, if not months later. >host: what kind of services are available to veterans when they come back? guest: we spend about $2 billion a year. it is a lot of money, but because there is no silver bullet to solving the problem of mental health maladies, you cannot say, let's increase this slice of the funding and the problem will be reduced. they throw money at the problem, for lack of a better phrase, hire more mental health workers. there are not enough in military or the civil society. we are trying to show the other side of the army suicide numbers. not the numbers that are issued every month without any
9:30 am
background, but talking about the family's and what they went through before the suicide happened. you realize that even if you, as a soldier, or is sold his wife, gets over the stigma, which is another problem in the military, when you knock on the mental health door of the military, nobody answers, or they say come back tomorrow. host: somebody else you profiled. who is mike? guest: he was interesting army guy that came from an army family, as did ian morrison, whose father was a marine. mike started as a bomb squad grunt, because that is what his father had done. he became an enlisted soldier. after eight years of that he said i want to become an officer. not only that, i want to become a medical doctor. thanks to the pentagon's medical school, that is what he did. he graduated in may 2010 and
9:31 am
went out to the medical center in hawaii where he was doing his residency, when he hung himself in the hospital. host: wasn't there a history of depression? guest: yes, and that is one interesting thing that we try to draw on in the story. ian morrison, the last time he returned home for christmas, his wife got the sense for the first time that something was not right. mike's wife, lesley, they had been married about 10 years. he had been depressed for about seven years. he sought help, but he did it in a ginger the fashion because he was afraid it would hurt his career. he was tried to do it on the cheap and maybe his wife suggested that he needed to get more help. he was elected to do so, and his army did not order him to do so. his wife repeatedly tried the
9:32 am
army to get him to do so. host: you account some of his last minutes. guest: this was also in march 2012. he called up his daughter, who was living in massachusetts with their mother. they have sort of separated on a test basis. mike told his daughter, tell mommy that i love her. to be a good girl. a short time later, lesley got an e-mail from like saying, this is the hardest e-mail i have ever written. i am sorry i have blown it. please do not tell my children how i died. i love you, mike. when lesley got this e-mail, she called a hospital delivery wing in hawaii and spoke to a doctor and said, i just got a suicide note from my husband. you must find him. the moment later, she was on a phone call with a midwife she knew in hawaii. she said, don't worry, we are
9:33 am
looking all over. and then lesley in massachusetts heard screams over the taliban. my god, they found him. he is hanging himself. code bleu. he was on life support for several days before he died. host: mark thompson, before we go to the calls, i do not know if you saw this on the floor of the house yesterday. a vietnam veteran, democrat of iowa, talk about your cover story. >> this amendment is fiscally responsible and incredibly timely. this is the most recent issue of "time" magazine reporting that military and veterans suicide is a tragic epidemic that has only gotten worse. are currently using one soldier every day to suicide, and i know my colleague dr. mcdermott comes to this issue as an expert in this field. i come as a vietnam veteran and some very passionate about
9:34 am
providing our heroes with the care and support they deserve. in 2007, i signed a veteran suicide prevention act to honor a young veteran in iowa who tragically took his life in front of his mother. to make sure veterans have access to precious hot lines and other mental health resources, we passed that bill. since then, the veteran crisis hot line has answered more than 600,000 calls and have reportedly made more than 21,000 life-saving rescues. tragically, we still lose a veteran to suicide every 88 minutes but we have much more to do. guest: it is great to see the congressmen bring up our article on the floor. part of what we try to do with this thing, peter, everybody has heard the numbers, but nobody has really heard the pain that the families have gone through, and in deed, how hard they try.
9:35 am
that is the spotlight we are trying to shine. host: mark thompson and nancy kids have this cover story. who commit suicide in the military? 95% are male, 90% are unlisted. 84% e white. 41% have received outpatient behavioral health services. first call for mark thompson from miami. tom, you are on the air. go ahead. caller: good morning, gentlemen, can you hear me? host: go ahead, tom. caller: the problem i see, this
9:36 am
war was created by a lot of politicians. for example, the gentlemen that promised that the soldier would be all right, made a statement, reported on public television, why are these people not held accountable? why is there no investigation into all the reasons for -- there were several reasons, for example, that there were weapons of mass destruction, but they did not find anything. there are a lot of things that do not add up, so why are these people not investigated? why not go after the ones responsible for creating this terrible tragedy that is happening all over the country? host: mark thompson, any response for him? guest: a lot of people feel that way, but it is important to point out, many people in the military do not feel that way.
9:37 am
make a progress has been made in iraq and afghanistan. they believe they are doing honorable work. it is just that the burdens of these wars are falling so hard on such a small number of people, and suicides in the ranks is one of the outcomes of that. host: next phone call from oregon. go ahead, mike. caller: the reason why i am calling, nobody talks about red flag veterans. i and a red flag veteran. host: what does that mean? caller: other than calling me a communist, that means -- that is what it means to me. what it means to them is, they have their pinnacles out, you walk the line, you follow the script, you do what they say, and here is the thing. i can understand why there are
9:38 am
so many deaths. i am 100% combat disabled, a vietnam cambodia. i know all about field expedient. i had to scrounge to do everything i could to keep fighting. now that i am home, this is a disgrace. how many red flag veterans are there? you know what i did? i go up here to the v.a. and ex they have here in north bend, ore., and i looked at people getting counseling. do they know what is out there? do they know? host: any response for him, mark thompson? guest: thank you for your service, mike. as we indicated, it is a different war now. for good or ill, troops going over for 13 months, and they came home and were done. they did not want to be there, but there was truly a light at
9:39 am
the end of the tunnel. these wars have been different. everybody today is a volunteer but oftentimes they do not know how the war will affect them until they actually go over there. what is interesting, you talk to somebody that has been there 10 times or more, they love it. somebody will go a few times each time they go, it gets tougher. that is one of the things that the military is trying to figure out. how can some of these folks arrive in a wartime environment and how do we sift out those who cannot handle it? they are looking at ways to figure that out. host: just to remind our viewers, we have our third line set aside for iraq and afghanistan active-duty veterans. we would like to hear from you. mark thompson, did you find that more suicides are committed in the field, after service?
9:40 am
guest: overwhelmingly back home. part because, number one, there is a stress that has been associated with serving in the military since 9/11, even if you do not deploy. it can make family relationships crumble because you are up and at them all the time. tbi and ptsd, when it does happen, does not manifest itself on the battlefield. it manifests itself when you come back home. especially guardsmen and reservists that come back to the states and they are not on a big military post with whatever care might be available. they may not have readily -- ready access to a be a facility. that is also contributing to the problem. host: next phone call comes from austin, texas. co-head with your question or comment. -- go ahead with your question
9:41 am
or comment. nathan? chandler, arizona. paula. caller: i literally just woke up and listen to your conversation and got chills. i have a friend -- the limited information because he is active duty. i have been friends with him for years. he is an apache pilot. that is what really captured the conversation for me. he has turned into this person -- i think he is dangerous. not because he had done anything, like you said. nothing has happened. is the conversation we have had. you touched on those topics. the stress of the war. the time that he has extended. they say you are going to be there 30 days but he is past 60 days, what ever it is. his time as a pilot was always
9:42 am
extended. they did not always follow the guidelines as to bring him back and letting him get rest. now he is at the point where he wants to retire. he is telling them that he has ptsd. he was explaining to me that he does not feel well. this is compound with his family issues, mariposa issues, things like that. literally, it was tried to get out. i got a text message from him the other day that said i have to go over there and do this, they are sending me back to another country. i am thinking, why would they do this to this man who has been there for 17 years? he has been in active duty war zones at least since 2003-2004, since i met him. first of all, why would the military -- i understand they have a job to do, and maybe there are limited resources in that selected field.
9:43 am
but to me, it does not sound like to take into consideration those things you are talking about. i am trying to understand and wrap my mind around the fairness of how the military treats their employees. second of all, what can we do as citizens? i would like to take this conversation off like to see what i can do to help, even in my own community. i literally have to tell my friend all the time, you are loved. i do not want him to think that we are your enemies. everybody is against you, the military does not care, your wife does not care, your family does not care, and take that route. i am trying to be supportive but i am not medically trained. i do not know what to do. host: thank you for your call. mark thompson? caller: the first thing to remember is 1-800-273-8255.
9:44 am
that is the national suicide hot line. everyone should commit that number to memory if they have somebody in that frame of mind. the army does not have a great record when it comes to human resources. they are not a touchy-feely organization, nor can they be. but the way the army has been stretched for the last 10 years, there are a lot of folks in yeoman's service on the mental health front, but plainly, it is not enough. i go back to the army vice chief of staff. he said something that highlights how tough this problem is. more than half the army suicides had visited a mental health professional shortly before their death. health professionals said that this person poses no risk to him, herself, or others, and then they were dead 24, 36, 48 hours later. that shows the challenge the
9:45 am
army has. they are not narrowcasting in their particular form of therapy or behavioral health. they are looking at yoga, acupuncture, other alternative forms, but right now nothing is working. host: william in north carolina. you are on the line with mark thompson. caller: good morning, gentlemen. how're you doing? host: we are listening. please go ahead. caller: i am a war veteran. i was diagnosed with ptsd. i had surgery when i came back from combat. with the military tradition and history, why don't we have things like that in the region? you're talking about disabled benefits but it has been almost a year and a half. they tell me i cannot work with the public. what is a person supposed to do? that is a stress on itself.
9:46 am
i did my service honorably. guest: that is a good point, william. a couple of things. thank you for your service. this nation, this government, this army, feels it cannot pay for the help it needs for mentally-ailing troops. general kia really told me that. he should know. now there are some problems with spending any more money on it because there is such a shortage of mental health professionals. that is why, basically, the soldier population is tapping into outside groups such as give an hour, a network of mental health professionals, to see,
9:47 am
they hook them up with local mental health professionals for free so that you can just go and chat. there are those groups outside. you have to hunt them down and figure out where they are. a quick web search should turn them up and i encourage you to seek such help. host: mark thompson is a deputy bureau chief in washington. how long have you been with "time." -- "time?" guest: 14 years. host: you won a pulitzer prize for a former article on military helicopters. guest: yes, the genesis of that problem. we had a survivor that said, i was not doing anything wrong prior to the crash. there were no survivors to talk about these crashes.
9:48 am
after the articles ran, the helicopters were grounded and were fixed, and there has not been a crash since. host: how did you get these two wives to talk to you? guest: my editors wanted a suicide story. it could not just the numbers because those have been done all over again. how can we do a suicide story? number one, they are normally that eager to help, but number two, there are a lot of health regulations that keep the military from telling a lot about these stories. we went to one of the nonprofit groups that the great work in this field. there is a woman there who works with families whose husband committed suicide. she is perhaps the leading advocate of those left behind by military suicides.
9:49 am
she told me about these two women who lost their husbands on the same day. both were in the army, both were captains. both were highly educated at the taxpayers' expense. we said, hey, this is a neat way to tell the story. host: next phone call. we have about 10 minutes until the house of representatives comes into session. paul in michigan. your son is an active duty. caller: how are you today? mark, i wanted to talk to you and maybe add some at the observation with my son that might add to the conversation. my son was deployed in afghanistan and his vehicle was destroyed by and ied. he was diagnosed with ptsd. when he got home from honolulu, i thought he got really great care concerning tbi and ptsd to
9:50 am
what i saw as a problem for him was his chain of command. not the actual medical treatment. as you said, and i would confirm, those symptoms did not manifest until sometime after he got home from combat. he seemed fine out there. he was not evacuated with the rest of his injured crewmembers to a hospital at the time of the blast. they did not see anything wrong with him. when he got back, it got worse and worse as time went on. what i saw happening to him was a lot of ridicule from sergeants and superior officers to couple of days before he was to deploy a second time to afghanistan, the doctor decided he was unfit to go. he received all kinds of ridicule. you are a sissy.
9:51 am
you are letting other people handle your job. when his unit got back from afghanistan, some of the guy that went without him would not talk to him anymore. i had read a book called "once a warrior, always a warrior" which talks about ptsd, and talk about the importance of fellow soldiers to come around those people and support them. my observation is coming down the chain of command, he gets the exact opposite. he has been trying for three years to apply for a purple heart to no avail and has been ridiculed for even asking. your focus is getting help for these guys. some of the medical help he has received has been fabulous, but that actual support from his fellow marines, i think, has been disastrous.
9:52 am
host: where is your son right now? caller: he has been moved from hawaii, now in indiana. he is in active duty reserve marine training to train to go to active combat. guest: i think you have hit on a key notion here. the military medical forces try really hard. theyhost: are overstressed but y try hard. you cannot change quickly the stigma associated with mental ailments in the military. parlay is because of the military mindset. sort of a gung-ho mentality of suck it up and move on. but that is not just at below world levels also. the commander at fort bliss, earlier this year on his blog, basically said, i am tired of you killing yourself. cut it out. do not leave this extra workload for the rest of us. get the program. he later retracted those remarks, but they are a theme throughout the military. some guys in the military chain of command get it.
9:53 am
some do not. the general's statement were viewed with horror by many military families with suicide in them as well as those to not because a statement like that can be the statement they try hard. that pushes somebody at the breaking point over the edge. it is just that kind of mentality that you say your son is hearing from his fellow marines and i'm here to say, yes, it is true, it happens, and it's tough to eradicate from an active duty fighting force currently engaged in a war. host: from the "time" magazine article --
9:54 am
when a member of the military commits suicide, are they given honors, are they denied services? guest: complicated question. the simple answer is, when it comes to military honors at burial, they get honors. they are done honorably. i have witnessed photographs from mike's funeral and you could not tell he kill themselves. it was very respectful. but in the wake of a suicide there are these so-called line of duty investigation that try to determine if the survivors should get benefits. that is a little dicey. if it decided that the suicide was not related to military service, benefits will not be paid. in other words, it was not line of duty suicide. generally, they too could benefit but occasionally they do not. those are routinely appealed and oftentimes overturned. host: nebraska.
9:55 am
sean, go ahead with your question for mark thompson. i apologize. please go ahead. caller: one thing that is not in the equation which affects a lot of troops is previous deployments under desert storm, desert shield. no. watch, southern watch, restore somalia. a lot of troops who have deployed to iraq and afghanistan have done previous deployment other -- under other persian gulf deployment. one of the dirty secrets of america is we bombed iraq in no- fly zone for 12 years and did not tell america. americans seem to think we walked out of there in 1981 and showed up in 2001. i was already stationed on the iran-kuwait border in 2001 on
9:56 am
southern watch and or the much to the north. then we immediately went into operation during freedom. i have done desert storm, no. march, southern watch, iraqi freedom, in during freedom, restore hope in somalia. the other persian gulf operations prior to 9/11 also needed to be added to the equation because we deployed to them and continued right on into iraqi freedom, enduring freedom. host: can i ask you a question? did you have any colleagues or fellow members of the military that you committed suicide or attempted? caller: yes, i did. i was at a tower bombing in 1996. we lost five in our unit. helicopter rescue squad. that affected a lot of people quite well.
9:57 am
i have now recently retired, after 25 years in the military, and right now, i have -- i am in a posttraumatic stress disorder group here we meet every friday at the omaha of the day -- v.a. i am with other people in my generation as well, but i have known plenty. i will not say the name of the base. host: is there a particular form of ptsd that you are suffering from? is this more of a prevention? caller: it is prevention, high anxiety. one thing that i notice, when people come back from the persian gulf, we have a saying, we are still on the wire. it is sort of bewildering. you get off at the airport, you
9:58 am
are in a civilian airport, you are looking at all this stuff going on, all these people take their freedom for granted, and 22 hours earlier you are in combat. now you are back in the states. you are looking to find someone to latch onto, someone that has experienced what you have experienced, and it is tough to find. i rely on my stepdad. he was in vietnam. one time, in the persian gulf, it was my niece, myself, two of my cousins, my stepsister, and her husband. all of us were there together. we rely on each other when i am back home in boston, massachusetts. host: thank you for calling in this morning. we appreciate your perspective
9:59 am
and story. guest: thanks for a quarter century of service, sir. it is interesting the point you make about the 22 hours after combat. some people say let's bring back the troopships. let's have them on with their buddies in war, for a week or two. that plane ride that can be disconcerting. your initial point is well taken. every deployment has potential stressors, through the burden of -- that people are carrying. indeed, the data shows the more time you are deployed, the more likely you are to have ptsd and/or tbi, and the more likely you are to commit suicide if you have either of those conditions. host: in fact, in the article, of those that have died by suicide, 38% had been deployed to iraq for afghanistan. mark thompson, deputy bureau chief

Washington Journal
CSPAN July 19, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EDT

News/Business. Live morning call-in program with government officials, political leaders, and journalists.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Syria 57, Washington 29, Us 23, United States 21, Iran 16, Mark Thompson 14, Russia 13, America 13, Obama 11, Coburn 10, U.s. 10, Afghanistan 10, Lebanon 9, Israel 9, New York 8, Iraq 7, Romney 7, China 6, Assad 6, Mr. Romney 6
Network CSPAN
Duration 03:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 121 (777 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 7/19/2012